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Contentious regulatory advice

One area of modern life where the legal profession makes an important contribution is in holding the government and its various agencies to account.

In some legal systems, such as in France, a parallel court structure exists to allow the citizen to challenge government actions felt unfairly to interfere with his constitutional rights. Jersey has by contrast followed the British path. Many statutes creating official powers to regulate the life of the citizen contain appeal provisions, allowing a challenge on the grounds of unreasonableness. Even where these provisions do not apply there is a right to seek a judicial review of administrative action. Where people feel they have been unfairly treated or their rights have not been respected, the courts are prepared to listen.

Our lawyers have the skills to advise individuals and businesses wishing to address or even challenge the requirements made of them by bodies in a position of authority, such as the Jersey Financial Services Commission, or JFSC. The JFSC prides itself on setting and enforcing high regulatory standards, reasoning that persons or businesses that fail to treat their clients properly or fail to comply with the international agreements to which Jersey is party are jeopardising the reputation of an industry whose commitment to maintaining high standards is crucial to the success of the Jersey economy. The legislator shared this view of the importance of Jersey’s finance industry and gave the JFSC far-reaching powers. These are set out in the island’s Financial Services legislation and in the codes of conduct promulgated under it. Even the right of silence, as would be enjoyed by a suspect under police investigation, has been removed. Industry members have a positive duty to be open and co-operative with the JFSC.

Viberts acts for numerous providers and consumers active in Jersey’s financial services sector. The technical advice traditionally given has been supplemented by the need also to consider its regulatory implications. No regulatory body is infallible and neither are its advisors.

Viberts can help clients to assess the relevant facts against the policy and detailed interpretation of the relevant legislation, rules and case law. If needs be our lines of communication with expert counsel in London are well established.  If dealings with the JFSC are handled incorrectly, the financial and reputational ramifications for an individual or a business can be severe. At such times you need a trusted and level-headed legal advisor on your side. If court proceedings do arise, we provide our clients with extensive forensic expertise throughout the court process.

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